No Small Task: 4 Strategies For SMB Marketers To Reach Millennials

One of the greatest struggles for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) is determining how and where to spend their precious marketing dollars. With so many emerging content formats and channels to be considered, each second and every penny counts.

Data from a recent survey report reveals a massive transformation in the way SMBs are marketing their businesses, driven primarily by Millennials and their innate use of social media and attraction to online video.

• Social is the new mass media: Building brand awareness, generating new customers, and maintaining loyalty with existing customers are top goals that have remained the same for SMB marketers and most likely will not change. However, what has changed is the fact that Millennials have caught on. They understand how to reach those goals by taking the reins of marketing budgets and using a new media mix with new tools and tactics. Their use of social media is eclipsing and driving the evolution of “word-of-mouth” marketing, and in many places completely replacing traditional marketing. It makes sense.

Businesses of all sizes must speak to audiences through a medium where they spend most of their time. Now more than ever, that audience attention is on social media. According to our survey, nine out of 10 Millennials at SMBs lead with social media in their marketing strategies.

• A culture of authenticity: In order to make a sale through social media, Millennial marketers understand the importance of authentic messaging specific to channel audiences and content formats. The younger generation knows the culture around social sharing and video storytelling, while Baby Boomers are still struggling to figure it out.

The key to successful SMB marketing is creating quality content that aligns with the channel and positions messages in a way that is meaningful to that specific network community.

• Targeting your audience: Millennials inherently understand how to push the right content to the right audience at the right time versus posting media and hoping that an audience finds it. In other words, Millennials are driving “word-of-mouth” conversations using social media, which allows them to reach a greater target market beyond their immediate sphere of influence. By comparison, half of Baby Boomers aren’t even sure if their videos are reaching the target audience. This is astounding. How can you determine ROI on video marketing if you aren’t even measuring it?

According to a recent eMarketer article, Instagram use is dominated by Millennials. This year, there will be 48.2 million Millennial Instagram users in the United States. By 2019, nearly two-thirds of all Millennial smartphone users will use Instagram. Crazy, right? Given these statistics, one would assume that all SMB marketers are using social media platforms like Instagram to reach audiences, right? Well, they’re not. Survey data shows that Millennials are 183% more likely to post a video to Instagram than Baby Boomers.

• Understanding the power of video: It’s clear that we are at a tipping point in the adoption of video marketing, driven by the power of video, especially among the younger generation who is leveraging different marketing tools and new strategies compared to their older counterparts. Facebook recently reported 10 billion views of video a day and announced that 2 million SMBs posted videos in March 2016 alone. Millennials at SMBs are driving the next wave of marketing, and they are doing it with a massive amount of video narratives. SMBs that don’t embrace video are simply invisible.

Even in light of these shifts and transformations, the goals for SMB marketing remain the same: reaching target audiences with the right message, in the right medium, at the right time. How this is accomplished, however, is an entirely new ballgame that is being accelerated at an astounding speed by quality, affordable video marketing.

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